Now a days there has been damage caused to the environment by the E-Waste due to the radioactive substance present in it and contaminating the ground water, polluting the air and soil too if not properly disposed. Improper handling of e-waste is detrimental to the environment and mankind. E-waste is combination of plastic and toxic chemicals and can cause health hazards like kidney damage, skin ailments, DNA damage, muscle weakness, asthmatic bronchitis etc. First, e-waste can have a damaging effect on the soil of a region. As e-waste breaks down, it releases toxic heavy metals. Such heavy metals include lead, arsenic, and cadmium. When these toxins leach into the soil, they influence the plants and trees that are crowing from this soil. Thus, these toxins can enter the human food supply, which can lead to birth defects as well as a number of other health complications. E-waste that is improperly disposed of by residents or businesses also leads to toxins entering groundwater. This groundwater is what underlies many surface streams, ponds, and lakes. Many animals rely on these channels of water for nourishment. Thus, these toxins can make these animals sick and cause imbalances in the planetary ecosystem. There is an need to properly manage and dispose this waste. India among the top five countries in E-Waste generation and nearly 2 Million tonnes of waste is generated in India every year. Only 5% of total E-Waste generated gets recycled due to poor infrastructure, legislation and framework which lead to a waste of diminishing natural resources, irreparable damage of environment and health of people working in the industry. Over 95% of E-Waste generated is managed by informal sector and scrap dealers instead of recycling it. The Government of India is also taking many initiatives in order to tackle this problem and adopt environmental friendly solution for E-Waste management by recycling E-Waste at a greater extent and integrating informal sector into a transparent recycling system by E-Waste Management Rules 2016. An electronic waste or E-Waste or e-scrap or waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) can be defined as the discarded waste computers, office electronic equipment’s entertainment device electronics, mobile phones, television sets and the refrigerators. The E-Waste may also pollute ground water, soil and air if not disposed properly and is hazardous to environment. So, this approach talks about the strategy to be adopted in India for proper collection, segregation, disposal and recycling of E-Waste.
1. To ensure proper collection, segregation, disposal and recycling of E-Waste
2. To create awareness among all the stakeholders about hazards of E-Waste
3. To recycle and reuse of E-Waste contributing to sustainable development
Process For E-Waste management:
The end user need to give E-Waste to collection point which will be provided in each wards (ward1, ward2, ward3…) of the city/town (as shown in fig.1) at a specific location feasible to every end user of the city. The collection will be done by Urban local Body twice in a month or as per the requirement as in case of solid waste is collected from households, offices, schools, shops etc. The collection process will be decentralised so that collection of E-Waste will be done faster. Once collection process is done all the E-Waste collected at each collection point located in wards of the city/town will be transferred to segregation centre (which is centralised) where E-Waste will be segregated and testing of E-Waste part will be done and categorized into good condition and poor condition. The parts which are in good condition will be sold at minimal price to manufacturing industry for re-production of the parts. The segregation of parts will be done which are in poor condition as parts having potential be recycle will be transfer to recycling centre where separation of the parts having hazardous substances like CRT, printed circuit boards etc. will be done and then recovery of the precious metals like copper, gold or lead can be done with the help of the efficient and powerful E-Waste recycler and recycled product will be used by end users again. The parts which are totally outdated will be transfer to disposal site for Incineration and Acid bath.
Incineration is a controlled way of disposing off the E-Waste and it involves combustion of electronic waste at high temperature in specially designed incinerators. This E-Waste disposal method is quite advantageous as the waste volume is reduced extremely much and the energy obtained is also utilized separately. Another method can be Acid bath which involves soaking of the electronic circuits in the powerful sulphuric, hydrochloric or nitric acid solutions that free the metals from the electronic pathways and the recovered metal is used in the manufacturing of other products.
Steps towards E-Waste management:
There is need to create action plan which will include all the strategies to be implemented for E-Waste management explaining the process for Collection, Segregation, disposal and recycling of E-Waste. Also, it will explain that process is continuous and will benefit the end user at the end as recycled products will be used by end users itself as shown in fig 1. Create awareness among citizen by taking campaigns explaining hazards of E-Waste and advertise the ideas, reason behind the collection and disposal of E-Waste by posters, hoardings, videos on social media etc. Also conduct open interactive session where the inputs of citizens are welcomed regarding E-Waste management process which is more likely public participation. Create incentives to citizens like discount on purchase of new electronic item so that they can voluntarily contributing to control pollution and protect environment by giving E-Waste in order to achieve the objectives of E-Waste management. There should be one special team who will be tracking and monitoring the collection, segregation, disposal and recycling process of E-Waste. The team will be appointed by Urban Local Bodies who will be headed by officer on special duty and giving weekly report to Urban Local Body.
Fig 1. Process for E-Waste Management
This strategy for E-Waste management will help to protect environment from the hazardous effect of E-Waste by proper collection, segregation, disposal and recycling of E-Waste as shown in fig 1. and creating awareness among end users by posters, advertisement, social media, conducting interactive session, publishing articles in newspaper and so on which is more mean towards public participation and inclusive approach. Also encourage end users by providing incentives so that citizen will contribute more in protecting environment voluntarily. The whole process will be tracked and monitored by special team appointed by Urban Local Body headed by officers on special duty. This process will also initiate the proper record of e-waste collected, disposed and recycled in cities/towns. Adopting this strategy will be a step towards achieving a goals of sustainable development and saving the environment from harmful substances and making it healthier. Urban Local Bodies and planners need to suggest proposals for e-waste management in development plans, local area plans and zonal plan for a better cause.
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